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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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242                                    FLORA   INDICA.

tiaUy dry in the winter months. They extend from the very
base of the Khasia and eastern extremity of the Cachar dis-
trict, southward to the Tippera hills and Sunderbunds, and
westward to the Megna and considerably beyond it, thus
forming a freshwater continuation of the Sunderbunds, and
affording a free water-communication in every direction. The
villages, and occasionally large towns, which are scattered
over the surface of the Jheels, generally occupy the banks of
the principal rivers; these have defined courses in the dry
season, their banks always being several feet higher than the
mean level of the inundated country.

Extensive sand-banks, covered in winter with a short sward
of creeping grasses and annual weeds, run along the banks of
the largest streams, and shift their position with every flood,
The remainder .of the surface is occupied by grassy marshes
covered iu winter with rice crops, and in summer with water,
upon which immense floating islands of matted glasses and
sedges are seen in every direction, gradually carried towards
the sea by an ^almost imperceptible current. The principal
floating grasses are Qplismenus stagmnus and Pharus arista-
tuSy which together form the mass of each islet; and along
with these occur Azolla, Salvinia, Utricularia, Vlllarsia of two
species, Jussieua, Trapa, Pistia, and several aquatic Scrophu-

In shallower water, Vallisneria, Hydrilla, Potamoffeton,
Damasonium, several Nymphaa, Myriophylla, and Ceratopte-
res carpet the bottom, whilst Conferva and the many tribes
of fresh-water Algse, so common in temperate latitudes, are
comparatively rare.
In the marshes the principal grasses are Pamca, Paspala,
and their allies, with tall Andropogons, Sacchara, JSriantkus,
Arundo, Apluda, and Itottb&lUa in the greatest abundance.
Mixed with these are Typha, Scteria and numerous Cyperi,
but no large Junci.
On the banks of the principal streams a fringe of brush-
wood consists of Stravadium, Tetranthera, Grewia, various